The MCTC News Blog

MCTC Student African American Sisterhood (SAAS) Presents Women’s Health Fair

Posted on: April 17th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

SAASMCTC Student African American Sisterhood (SAAS) presents its Women’s Health Fair on Thursday, April 23 from noon–4 p.m. in L.3100. Join us as we share tips on how to live life, take care of your body and relieve stress!

Participating clubs and resources include the MCTC Yoga Club and North Point Health and Wellness Center.

Guest speakers include:

  • Akhmiri Sekhr-Ra, administrative director and health systems navigator of the Cultural Wellness Center presenting “Loving Yourself”
  • Brianne A. Hill, MSW MFA, presenting “Mental Health”

MCTC Students Talk Diversity at Itasca Community College

Posted on: January 27th, 2015 by insidemctc No Comments

MCTC students at ICCMembers of the MCTC African American Education Empowerment Program (AME) and MCTC Director of Diversity Whitney Harris were invited to visit Itasca Community College (ICC) earlier this month for a day of professional development.

Representatives from ICC had visited MCTC’s AME program last semester, and invited Dr. Harris and the students to speak in light of increasing enrollment of students of color at ICC.

MCTC students from the AME program delivered presentations to ICC faculty and staff and participated in panel discussions addressing teaching in diverse classrooms and managing institutional diversity.

During the panel, MCTC AME student Michael Elliot encouraged ICC faculty and staff to use the experiences each student brings to the classroom as learning opportunities.

“You have to be aware of the needs of your diversifying student population,” Elliot said.

Harris believes both the MCTC AME students and ICC faculty and staff learned from each other by having the opportunity to share their knowledge and stories.

“The students were able to integrate what they had learned at MCTC through their own experiences and teach these college employees about it,” Harris said.

MCTC AME student and tutor Jeodaun Lee described the experience as “a slice of humble pie.” “They rolled out the red carpet for us and wanted to learn,” he said.

“ICC was very receptive of what we had to offer in the realm of diversity and administrative and faculty connection to the student body,” said Elliot.

AME is expected to make a return to ICC in the spring to hold a similar conversation with students.

Photo: The MCTC delegation at Itasca Community College on a frigid January day. From left to right: Michael Elliot, Clay Bradbury, Ronnie Russell-Bey, Jeodaun Lee, Whitney Harris

Student Success Initiatives at MCTC

Posted on: July 1st, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

Students collaborating.New initiatives aimed at improving student success have shown strong results, according to a recent report released by the College’s office of Strategy, Planning and Accountability (SPA). Educational equity and student success comprise the College’s strategic priorities, and the four initiatives tracked in this report are specifically aimed at meeting those priorities.


The African American Educational Empowerment Program (AME) and student center was founded in 2011 by dedicated students who brought a national concept to this Minneapolis campus. AME is comprised of four programs, and the AME student center is available for homework help, classroom collaboration and community building. College research showed students using the AME center—particularly male students—were significantly more likely to complete courses and remain enrolled in the College than those not using the center.

Accelerated English (ENGA)

Accelerated English courses combining developmental English with college-level work were offered for the first time in 2013. The research found students needing developmental English instruction were significantly more successful when enrolled in the combined course, passing at a rate similar to students who tested directly into college-level English. Furthermore, these students completed their college English requirement in one semester instead of two.

English Instructor Michael Kuhne explains that students may face any number of outside factors, so success in developmental courses may take place in addition to or in spite of factors like inconsistent child care, health issues, addiction, family illness and so on.
“The students who succeed in these courses not only leave with more academic confidence, they understand the demands of college a bit better and are better able to plan accordingly,” said Kuhne. “They know how to create study and support groups. They gain clarity, both about why they are in college and how they will succeed in college.”

Embedded Advising

Embedded advisors working specifically within College academies began providing integrated advising to students in 2011. Research found students who saw their appointed academy advisor in their first semester at MCTC were almost twice as likely to continue at MCTC for a second year than students who did not see an advisor. Data will be further analyzed in the coming year to determine whether integrated advising has a positive effect on timely graduation as well as the effect on retention.


Statway, a Carnegie Foundation initiative designed to help community college students complete a college-level math course with less frustration and lower dropout rates than traditional college algebra, finished its first year of implementation this spring. MCTC research found that students in the accelerated, experience-based math alternative were between three and five times more likely to enroll in the subsequent math class the following term compared to developmental math students not enrolled in Statway. “Students enrolled in Statway this year built a strong community,” said Carmen Buhler, Mathematics instructor and one of three Statway instructors at the College. “In light of the successes of the first year of operation, we are looking forward to a second year of Statway courses.”

These initiatives, aimed at increasing success in the classroom as well as graduation or transfer rates of participating students, are only a few instances of efforts at the College to empower students to be successful inside and outside the classroom.

AME Annual Banquet to be Held March 21

Posted on: March 4th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

MCTC AME programYou are invited to the African American Education Empowerment Program’s (AME) annual Black History Month Banquet held at MCTC. The banquet is an opportunity to recognize the success of AME and MCTC students, the MCTC community and the greater Twin Cities community. The banquet will take place on Friday, March 21 from 7–8:30 p.m. with check-in and networking beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The keynote speaker for this event will be Dr. Timothy Childs, president of TLC Precision Wafer Technology and head of the TLC Foundation. Dr. Childs was recommended by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton to meet with President Barack Obama to discuss the topic of innovative technologies and his involvement with “at risk” students from North Minneapolis in 2011. Read more here.

The banquet is free and open to the MCTC and greater Twin Cities community. It will also feature music led by AME students and a “soul food” meal.

For more information about the banquet, or to RSVP to attend, please email no later than Monday, March 17. 

About AME
The African American Education Empowerment Program (AME) consists of four distinct programs to create opportunities for the educational success of students of color who are attending Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC). Each AME program contributes to the retention, graduation and personal growth of students and empowers them to develop leadership skills through their education, mentoring opportunities and involvement in the college community, society, nation and world. Learn more here.

About TLC Wafer Technology
TLC Precision Wafer Technology is a leader in providing quality reliable and innovative high performance millimeter-wave products to customers in the millimeter-wave and high-speed photonic industries. This includes military and commercial telecommunications, security and automotive electronic and other applications.

About the TLC Foundation
TLC Education Foundation has evolved over the last 10 years into an organization that helps “at-risk” students and families to develop academic confidence, to understanding the importance of education and to develop and implement paths to move college aspirations into reality.

MCTC Celebrates Black History Month with College, Community Partnerships

Posted on: February 10th, 2014 by insidemctc No Comments

Spirit and Soul exhibitIn celebrating community, teaching history and heading into the future, MCTC joins its partners throughout the community in celebrating Black History Month. Black History Month is designated for the remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. MCTC takes great pride in the study of African diaspora. The College, in conjunction with its African American Education Empowerment Program (AME) and the Basilica of St. Mary, takes special note of black history with celebratory events and activities throughout the month. View our Black History Month page for a full list of events happening in February.

AME has been creating opportunities for the educational success of students of color who are attending MCTC since 2011. Each of four distinct AME programs contributes to the retention, graduation and personal growth of students and empowers them to develop leadership skills through education, mentoring opportunities and involvement in the college community, society, nation and world. Black History Month provides students the opportunity to design creative ways to gather their peers and celebrate. AME is hosting multiple events this month, and culminating their celebrations with their annual celebration banquet and community shoe donation distribution. Click here for a full list of events.

The Basilica of St. Mary has been MCTC’s neighbor for the 35+ years MCTC has inhabited its current location on Hennepin Ave. and Loring Park. As long-standing partners in community service, MCTC and the Basilica are partnering this year to host Black History Month events including an art exhibit showcasing the work of MCTC students, and a celebratory concert. Click here for a full list of events.

Recognizing the myriad interests of its diverse population of students, MCTC recently introduced an Associate in Arts with Emphasis in African Diaspora Studies program. In this innovative program, students analyze the history, politics and cultures of African people globally and locally. Students explore the experiences of the descendants of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, recent immigrants from Africa to the U.S. and Europe, and many other aspects of African diasporic lives around the globe. It’s an exciting addition to the more than 130 programs of study at MCTC.

Part of the African Diaspora Studies program is a summer field-study course, “Race in America: Then and Now.” The six-credit field study course is done in partnership with the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs and takes place in June each year. Students explore the philosophy, practice and historical implications of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s and how these past struggles are inextricably linked to current struggles around race, class and inequality. The course is based at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss. and includes multi-day field trips to sites in Alabama, Tennessee and Louisiana.

We invite you to explore black history with us at MCTC!